This year’s American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) policy summit highlighted the challenges and opportunities for researchers and companies involved in safely bringing new, or expanding, kidney care innovations to consumer markets. The consistent messages shared among all 2021 presenters at the event included the need to slow the spread of kidney disease and expand policies that honour full patient consumer care choice, as well as the need for better coordination across federal regulatory and payment agencies to ensure new technologies enter the US consumer market.
AAKP president Richard Knight, a national kidney advocate, said: “AAKP has invested heavily in grassroots and virtual technologies to help patients and their families engage decision-makers, researchers, scientists, and other influencers through our Centers for Patient Engagement and Advocacy, and Patient Research and Education. Through our strategic partnerships with government, academia, and industry, we have been able to connect tens of thousands of new patient voices and their unique patient insights to those responsible for making informed decisions that impact some of the most vulnerable, ill, and underserved populations in the country. AAKP is building its capacities to better organise patients, address inequities, and make certain patients have an even greater impact on issues related to care choice and innovation.”
Among the key issues discussed at the Fourth Annual AAKP Public Policy Summit—which targeted regulatory and reimbursement barriers to new treatments—were:
- The comparative health and safety benefits of home dialysis, and telehealth, during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic
- Updates on The Kidney Project, a KidneyX prize-winning artificial kidney initiative
- Diabetic kidney disease
- Diagnostics to detect kidney transplant failure and strategies to reduce donated kidney discard rates
- Smarter alignment of federal regulations and payment policies to support breakthrough treatments, and innovations
- Continuity of care for secondary hyperparathyroidism
- Medicare patient access to all federally approved kidney disease-related therapeutics
- The emerging role for pharmacists as formal members of the kidney patient medical care team
- The serious threat Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) metrics pose to both medical innovation and timely patient access to new or existing chronic disease therapeutics.
The AAKP also awarded an AAKP President’s Medal to Griffin P Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, USA, for his “outstanding commitment to patient-centred research, and superior efforts as a US civil servant in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the fight against kidney diseases”.
And, based on the success in 2020 of the AAKP’s KidneyVoters programme—which is the first and largest voter registration initiative serving every sector of the kidney stakeholder community including medical professionals and like-minded members of the pharmaceutical industry, according to an AAKP press release—the association has announced plans to register half a million kidney patients, “and other people of goodwill committed to the fight against kidney diseases”, by the 2024 election cycle.
Presentations from the 2021 AAKP policy summit can be viewed on demand here.